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Freedom Comes High

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Freedom Comes High


Published 1944


A young wife learns that freedom must sometimes be paid for in lives, when her husband's ship is struck during battle.


Run time 12:29
Producer U.S. Navy
Sponsor U.S. Treasury Department, 6th War Loan
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W

Shotlist

A fast-paced drama about a young married couple, Steve and Ellen, who are divided by Steve's enlistment in the Navy during World War II. While entering enemy waters, Steve's ship is struck during battle. Steve's spirit appears as Ellen reads the last letter he wrote to her: "I am sure you'll understand that whatever I do for you and the baby is more important right now than anything else in the world. The value of these things can't be measured ordinary ways, but must be paid for in dollars and cents -- sometimes in lives. Freedom comes high. No matter what happens, I shall always be with you." These words console Ellen as she receives the telegram announcing his death. Vice Admiral John H. Towers, Commander Air Force Pacific Islands then appears to encourage the buying of war bonds ("You do your share, we'll do ours") to drive the Japanese troops from the sea and the air, so that then they will "be utterly doomed".



Ken Smith sez: James Craig plays a character aptly named Steve Blanding, a patriotic "old man" who runs off and joins the Navy, leaving behind his young wife (Barbara Britton, yum-yum). People with judgment as poor as Steve deserve to have something horrible happen to them, and that's exactly what occurs in this film. "But...Lieutenant Blanding! That's suicide!!!"

Soldiers lifting cargo onto a ship
A couple embrace and kiss next to a grand piano
Night time cannon blasts and explosions
A young woman reads a letter in a comfortable living room while a double exposure of a soldier appears over her
Death Deliveries Telegrams World War II Widows Casualties Patriotism Freedom World War II (Homefront) Danger Lurks
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Reviews

Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - June 15, 2003
Subject: Highly cinematic and great!
In this excellently acted and melodramatic piece coming from the US Navy of all places. a married couple is separated when the husband goes off to war. As you can tell by the title, consquences ensue. I imagine this film was done by the Navy to warn women that Johnny might not be marching home. This film has a high cinematic feel to it, and all the acting is superb. This comes highly reccomended!
Reviewer: Christine Hennig - favoritefavoritefavorite - October 16, 2002
Subject: Freedom Comes High
A Navy wife worries about her husband, off fighting the Axis. He is eventually killed in battle, but not before sending her a message that defending freedom sometimes requires that lives be sacrificed, and that he will always be with her in spirit, whatever happens. When she gets the dreaded telegram from the Navy Department, she holds back her tears and carries on. This seems to be targeted at people who have lost loved ones in the war, telling them to keep going despite their loss. One wonders how well it was received by that audiencethe makers were lucky that most Americans supported the war and knew why such sacrifices had to be made, because this is an awfully large and bitter premise to swallow. And although the young wife depicted bravely chokes back her tears and reassures us that she and her baby will be O.K., we're not totally convinced of thatthey seem awfully vulnerable. Not maudlin enough to be campy, though it is somewhat unsettling.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: N/A. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ***. Also available on Americans in War.
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